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Criminal Justice Schools in Minnesota | MN

Minnesota State Criminal Justice DegreesImagine staring at crime scene of a fresh murder victim, pipe in hand. You peer up to Watson and exclaim, “It is of the first importance not to allow your judgment to be biased by personal qualities.” While the job description of private detectives is not exactly the same as Sherlock Holmes’, his particular words offer much wisdom.

Minnesota is one of the five states with the highest concentrations of private investigators in the country. To become a licensed private detective/investigator in Minnesota, you must complete pre-assignment and continual training. Check the list of criminal justice schools in Minnesota for information on private investigation certificate programs and courses. An Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in Law Enforcement or Criminal Justice, plus previous experience as a security or sworn officer, will help make you a successful, cutting-edge private detective.

Alternatively, you may want to complete a criminal justice degree in Minnesota with a specialization in paralegal studies, emergency management, law enforcement, corrections or other disciplines to become qualified to be one of the state’s thriving professionals, such as a police officer, paralegal, emergency management specialist, correctional officer and more.

Ridgewater College - Willmar
  • Law Enforcement Associate In Applied Science Degree
  • Law Enforcement Associate In Arts Degree
  • Law Enforcement - Corrections
  • Legal Administrative Assistant
  • Pre-Law
  • And More...

Ridgewater offers both online & campus based programs. Please visit their website for further details.

Minnesota Criminal Justice Career Outlook

Various criminal justice careers in Minnesota show a positive outlook for employment. (The average number of job openings per year is provided by Projections Central). These include:

If you are interested in becoming a police or sheriff’s officer, check the list of criminal justice schools in Minnesota for law enforcement degree programs. Most police departments prefer candidates to have a minimum of an Associate’s (2-year) Degree. If you would like a career as a correctional or probation officer, consider taking a criminal justice degree in corrections, probations, human services, criminology or another related major. Take an online or campus program to become a paralegal and to lay the foundation down for a law degree, so you can eventually become a successful attorney earning $120,000 or more.

Top Criminal Justice Employers & Agencies

Minnesota boasts both a division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in St. Paul and one of Homeland Security’s Special-Agent-in-Charge field offices in Bloomington. To become an ATF Agent, it is a good idea to complete a criminal justice degree in Minnesota with a specialization in law enforcement, homeland security or criminology. To work for Homeland Security, look for information on counterterrorism, intelligence, cyber security and other homeland security degrees among the criminal justice schools in Minnesota.

Additionally, according to Career One Stop, one of Minnesota’s largest employers is SMSC Gaming Enterprise with approximately 4,500 personnel. Along with other positions, the company hires gaming surveillance officers for places like the Mystic Lake Casino. These security professionals keep high traffic gaming areas safe and look for questionable or violent behavior before they get out of hand. If this peaks your interest, you can patrol casino floors and audio-visual security equipment after completing casino security training at one of the criminal justice schools in Minnesota

Minnesota Criminal Justice & Legal Job Outlook & Minnesota Criminal Justice Salary

Career Employment Growth through 2018 Current Average Salary
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 3% $53,000-57,000
Correctional Officers and Jailers 4% $42,000-46,000
Court Reporters 6% $58,000-68,000
Detectives and Criminal Investigators 9% $68,000-70,000+
First-line Supervisors of Police and Detectives 3% $75,000-80,000
Private Detectives and Investigators 19% $40,000-43,000
Paralegals and Legal Assistants 14% $50,000-53,000
Lawyers 5% $120,000-130,000+
Emergency Management Specialists 13% $55,000-58,000
Gaming Surveillance Officers and Gaming Investigators 14% $29,000-32,000
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists 14% $58,000-64,000

Sources: Growth Projections ~ Salary Range

Minnesota Crime Rate

According to the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), Minnesota’s crime rate is 13% lower compared to the national average: its property crime rate is 10% lower and its violent crime rate is 35% lower.

The NIC adds that Minnesota’s number of individuals on probation is 64% higher than the rest of the country. With over 120,000 probationers, this suggests there is a high demand of probation officers and correctional treatment specialists. If you would like to help former inmates successfully re-integrate into society, take a criminal justice degree in Minnesota with a specialization in community corrections, adult or juvenile probation, law enforcement, criminology, human services, social work or another related discipline.

Minnesota's Correctional System Stats

Facility Number of Facilities/Offices Number of Inmates
Jails 78 7,167
Prisons 8 9,650
Probation/Parole 31 counties have supervisory agencies; the rest are supervised by the Department of Corrections 121,446 probationers  5,435 parolees


Article By Michelle Brunet